If you hadn’t already noticed, we love weddings here at notonthehighstreet.com. When we’re not surreptitiously flicking through Bridal magazines or pinning dresses we’ll never be able to afford to our Pinterest boards, we love to hear all the details from brides-to-be. So, in the name of all things wedding, we’ve recruited four brides and asked them to share their experiences with us. From table decorations to wine-tastings, from hen parties to pre-wedding jitters, our brides will act as your guides through their journey to the altar.
So ladies (and gentlemen – extra points if you’re reading) put your hands together for the notonthehighstreet.com Real Brides.
Natalie & Matt: 28 September 2014
3 MONTHS TO GO
Matt and I got engaged at the end of November last year. We had booked a weekend off work and were going for a walk at Painshill Park in Surrey. It was pretty cold and overcast when we got there but the sun soon came out. We were walking across a bridge when I noticed Matt wasn’t there, I turned round and saw Matt on one knee with a ring. I was so shocked! After saying yes, we had a Champagne picnic. I spent the next two hours on the phone ringing everyone I knew to tell them.
We’re getting married at Highcliffe Castle, near Bournemouth in Dorset. It’s really beautiful, and sits on a cliff overlooking the Isle of Wight. We also managed to get our dream reception venue – an 18th century mill on the River Avon. We’re only hiring the venue, so we can do whatever we want in terms of catering and decorations. It’s split over three floors with a working watermill on the ground floor, a bar and evening room on the second floor and the top floor is for the wedding breakfast with a great view across the countryside.
I bought the first dress I tried on and only visited two shops in total – I keep having dress envy at other weddings so I really hope I’ve picked the right one!
Next on the to-do list is favours, accessories and decorations…
Emily & Chris: 6 June 2015
11 MONTHS TO GO
I knew Chris was going to take me away for our anniversary, but I had no idea where we were going. The morning of our tenth anniversary I opened my card and the surprise was two tickets to Paris! He had included a little checklist of sights to see – leaving out the proposal of course. I had never been to Paris, so at this point I was beyond excited. As soon as I told friends and colleagues where we were going, they all knew that he was going to propose. I, on the other hand, genuinely had no idea. Chris is so bad at keeping secrets, I had always assumed I would guess when the day came.
After work and following a romantic trip to Nando’s (my choice), I met him at the station and we took the Eurostar to Paris. He had Champagne ready for the journey and flowers waiting in the hotel room (I still had no clue). The next day he suggested a trip to Notre-Dame. When we got to the gardens he said ‘there’s something that I need to ask you’ – when I turned around he was down on one knee. I couldn’t even look at the ring through the tears (I’m a bit of a crier). Quite some time later, I pulled myself together enough to put the lovely – but slightly too big – ring on. This was followed by a VIP trip up the Eiffel Tower, dinner and a lot more Champagne.
My dream wedding would be relaxed, full of lots of laughter, dancing, drinking and good food. I have six brothers and Chris has three, and I can’t wait for all of us to celebrate together as a big family.
I’d love a rustic style wedding, and Chris and I love food and cooking, so I am hoping to incorporate elements of our passion into the wedding. I’m thinking pale colours rather than brights, and lots of lovely lighting!
Kim & Ben: 10 July 2015
12 MONTHS TO GO
Ben and I flew out to Goa in May for a long awaited break – the perfect holiday for a pair of curry addicts. We backpacked for the first week staying in a mixture of lovely beach huts and unsavoury apartments, but ended our stay in a beautiful five star room (air conditioning – luxury!) with an ocean view. Ben had insisted on booking this before we left, and now I know why – it was here that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
We’d been at the pool all day and when we were followed up to the room by a waiter with a bottle of bubbles I started to think ‘what if…?!’. However Ben said he’d just ordered it to relax and watch the sunset… hmm. I tested the waters by saying I wanted to quickly shower and dress up (a day lounging at the pool had not left me looking proposal-ready!) but he said there was no need and no time as the sun was setting. After heading out to the balcony I was well and truly double-bluffed. It was a proposal of few words, but all the right ones. After I had finished crying I of course said yes.
I had always imagined Ben and I getting engaged, telling our friends and family, and starting our future together, but had thought next to nothing about our actual wedding. Every time someone asked me if I’d set a date, or knew what kind of wedding I wanted etc, I would politely say no whilst having a small panic inside. Why didn’t I know? Isn’t this something all women know? What do I do?!
After a brief period of panic, something surprising happened – I suddenly knew exactly how our wedding should be. It was my clever fiancé – an unexpected yet obvious source – who gave me the inspiration.
I’m happy to announce that our wedding is now booked for 10 July 2015. That’s all I’ll say for now, other than to all you other clueless ladies out there, (or perhaps I was the only one) take your time, keep an open mind and look around you. The more your wedding feels like an integrated, albeit an extra special, part of your day-to-day life, the more likely it will just feel right.
Alex & James: 11 July 2015
12 MONTHS TO GO
James and I took a well-deserved week off last Easter, having just become proud parents to three chickens in our first proper home. One evening, James asked me to go for a walk down by the canal. He picked a beautiful spot and laid out the picnic rug as the sun was setting. He got down on one knee and said, ‘Al, there is something I’ve been meaning to ask you for a while’. I replied ‘what’s that then, love?’. I had absolutely no idea that James was about to ask me to marry him.
I laughed hysterically for 15 minutes straight. I said ‘yes of course’ through snorting and hyena like noises. What ensued was a two week dreamy haze which was filled with telling family and friends our exciting news twinned with many more bubbles, gifts, cards and congratulations.
Once the dust had settled and I realised that in fact this was no joke, we started to discuss what sort of wedding we wanted. We started by writing a budget (James is a bit of a numbers man, yawn), speaking to our parents and thinking about times of year and location – I’m from the North and James is from the South. We felt we should opt for a part of the country that means a lot to us so we have now taken a trip down to Devon and booked our venue, Sandy Cove Hotel.
We also asked our entire groom and bridal party to help carry out the special duties on our wedding day. Luckily everyone accepted. I’ve started researching colour themes, flowers and decorations on the internet – so far everything is coming together nicely, but there are still a lot more decisions to be made.
Stay tuned for weekly posts from our Real Brides.